Writing from a NYC Subway: “Blood, Sweat & Cyber”

By Larry Jaffee; Introducing Vikas Bhatia


The CISO Who Almost Wasn’t

Sometimes life pushes you in a direction, and you finally realize what you were meant to do. Such is the case with Vikas Bhatia. Growing up in England in an Indian family, like many Brits he decided to cross the ocean for the Land of Opportunity, and he found a comfortable position with a Big 4 consulting firm in New York.

Four years later, he was made redundant. At a crossroads trying to figure out how he can remain in the US legally, Bhatia thought he’d diversify the catering family business that he helped launch some years earlier with an Indian food truck in New York. His Mum wasn’t having it. “Why don’t you start your own business first, instead of screwing up mine?” she told her first born. Without much a choice, Vikas hatched a cybersecurity consultancy, amid the hurdles of getting married and starting a family.

ITSPmagazine is proud to serialize Vikas' journey to entrepreneurhood in a forthcoming book that he calls Blood, Sweat & Cyber.

Vikas’ first chronicle is featured below here in An InfoSec Life.

We hope you enjoy it!

Larry Jaffee

Blood, Sweat, and Cyber on ITSPmagazine | By Vikas Bhatia


Blood, Sweat, and Cyber - The Introduction

It wasn’t until I had to complete the form that grandfathered me into EC Counsel’s Certified Chief Information Security Officer status that I realized how far my security experience could take me. Not to mention, I had always wanted to start my own business.

What started out as just a crazy idea in 2012, turned into Kalki Consulting, has evolved into a thriving business with an awesome team and a more awesome set of direct and indirect clients who rely on us, our expertise and our ability to think out of the box to protect them on a daily basis.

My wife Jen gave birth to our son JJ only four weeks ago. It took three-and-a-half years of labor and slogging my heart out to give birth to my first baby, Kalki Consulting. I was supposed to take some time off to spend with my wife and new son. Instead the Kalki team made a trip to the NY Tech Summit where I was scheduled to run a pre-conference Cyber Security workshop for 30 mid-market clients.

During a dinner with my partner and long-time friend Domingo and my good friend Stephen, I shared my latest Kalki adventure from the past year. If this was a few years ago I would have limited myself to having a few drinks, and then a few more. But today, instead of a hangover, I wake up with a family, including a child. Becoming an entrepreneur is frightening enough in itself. I knew my lifestyle needed to change.

“I think it would be a great idea if you wrote a book,” proclaimed Stephen in his fabulously fabulous tone! “How the &@$# would I do that?” I responded incredulously. “I can’t find the time to (fill in all the things I should have done but haven’t over the past three months!). In his infinite wisdom, Stephen suggested, “Start by jotting a few notes... just on your phone?"

While it sounded like a great idea, it was also quite daunting. I’m still getting over the bloatware scars from my time at the Big 4 firm. By the end of the conference, I came up with a title for my book, Blood, Sweat & Cyber. Realizing I needed to stick to a regimen that would also serve as a form of therapy, I started jotting down notes on my iPhone (with the cracked screen) on my way to or from client meetings on the subway, or on my way home (a total of 10-minute walk). What was a crazy idea just a few months ago has transpired into a glimpse into a world of a CISO who is a real person, living a real life, with real ups and downs.

Blood, Sweat & Cyber is a lens into a CISO’s entrepreneurial and emotional rollercoaster to achieve the mission of securing the planet... one device at a time.

Vikas Bhatia

About Vikas Bhatia

Vikas Bhatia is the founder and CEO of Kalki Consulting, which provides SecurITy™ for small-to-medium businesses and has offices in New York and London. Bhatia is a recognized Certified CISO who has previously assisted many global clients to assess the regulatory and business operations landscape, identifying business impacting technology risks.

Vikas is also the author of Blood, Sweat, and Cyber, a journalistic lens into a CISO’s entrepreneurial and emotional rollercoaster to achieve the mission of securing the planet... one device at a time... captured first on a phone during Vikas' NYC subway ride.


About Larry Jaffee

Larry Jaffee is the editor of the InfoSec Life column for IT Security Planet magazine. He’s also written numerous feature articles and ebooks focusing on various aspects of data breaches, insider threats and preparation to ward off attacks. Jaffee is also a Ponemon Institute Fellow.

More About Larry

Important Notice

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent nor reflect the views of ITSPmagazine.